Our “Angel”, Joan, twin to Jean
By Sandy , twin to Jim
At our recent National Conference in Detroit, I had the privilege of presenting the “Angel Award” to Joan, twin to Jean. I have known and worked with Joan for seven years. She is the Regional Coordinator for the North Central region and she has been the recording secretary for all our RC meetings and phone calls.
Joan is selfless, compassionate, kind and generous. When I came across this definition for an angel, I thought of Joan- “a person who can brighten up the worst day only with a smile, a person who can make life bearable with the sound of their voice, a person who you have come to love.” And we have come to love Joan!
In Joan’s own words, “As the Regional Coordinator for the TTSGI North Central region for the last seven years, I have helped twins connect with each other within a seven-state area: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Even though I lead a busy life, as the owner of a personal chef company, I have often said, “This (being Regional Coordinator) is the most important thing that I do with my life.” My work with the Twinless Twins organization is my way of connecting and healing, and also of honoring Jean. When I help others, I help myself. More specifically, I feel that JEAN is helping others, through me. This is especially significant because of the fact that Jean took her own life. As horrendous as that was, I must recognize that some lives are better because of it. Her unspeakable act has also made the world a better place, through my work with TTSGI.”
When Joan had the opportunity to spend the winter months in Seattle this year, she used her time organizing a Twinless Twins regional meeting which included twins from Western Canada, Washington and Oregon. Currently there is no Regional Coordinator for that region. She saw a need in that area and filled it. Aided by the past Regional Coordinator, Pamela Fender, she assembled a list of potential attendees. This work for Twinless Twins filled her days, gave her a purpose and created a bigger twin “family” for her. It was truly a labor of love. On March 6, 2016, at noon, thirteen twins and two spouses met at the Best Western Plus Executive Inn, near the Space Needle. Half a dozen or so of them met the night before, in the hotel lounge. They laughed and cried, and shared stories with strangers who are now forever family.
In her “other” life, besides her work as a personal chef, she is a wife, mother and grandmother. One of my favorite things about Joan is that she makes me laugh! Laughter is one of the greatest gifts my twin gave to me. Thank you Joan for sharing this gift with all of us! Joan’s name is usually the first name on our attendee roster at every conference. If you look closely you will see that her name includes the word angel! We congratulate Joan, twin to Jean and thank her for her years of service to TTSGI!